What Is a Computer Systems Analyst? 2024 Career Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Find out what a computer systems analyst is, including duties and responsibilities. Explore the requirements to become a computer systems analyst.

[Featured image] Two computer system analysts are working on a laptop, discussing their current project.

Computer systems analysts specialize in maintaining and analyzing an organization’s information technology (IT) processes and procedures to help it become more efficient. In this article, learn about what a computer systems analyst does, how to become one, their earning potential, and more. 

What are computer systems?

Computer systems comprise of software and hardware. The hardware is the physical equipment, while the software is the instructions that tell the hardware what to do. A computer system can be a single computer, a network of computers, or a system built for a specific function, such as an accounting system or library automation system. 

What is a computer systems analyst?

As a computer system analyst, you’ll deal with aspects of both IT and business. In this role, you’ll work with computer systems to determine whether it’s performing correct and efficient functions for your organization. Meanwhile, you’ll also look for ways to improve how technology is used within a business. 

The systems you work with depend on the nature of the business, its tasks, and goals. Computer systems analysts determine what’s needed and whether processes are optimized. Given the crossovers between IT and business, this role requires knowledge of both disciplines. 

Read more: Business Systems Analyst: Duties, Salary, Jobs, and More

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of a computer systems analyst vary by business, but the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers a few general duties that include [1]:

  • Consulting with managers to determine business goals

  • Analyzing business processes and technology systems to see if they align with company needs

  • Identifying ways to improve current systems and processes

  • Identifying new technology to improve systems

  • Creating cost analysis for changes to systems

  • Implementing, installing, and configuring new systems, software, and hardware

  • Training staff on new computer systems and creating user manuals 

Read more: 10 Entry-Level IT Jobs and What You Need to Get Started

Computer systems analyst skills

A computer systems analyst needs to be highly technical and have an understanding of business to ensure IT systems are meeting business needs. This requires a unique set of both technical and workplace skills. Technical skills represent the practical aspects of your role, while workplace skills contribute to how productive you are in a work environment.

Technical skills:

Workplace skills:

  • Analytical

  • Research

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Problem-solving

Computer systems analyst salary and job outlook

According to the BLS, employment as a computer systems analyst will grow by 10 percent between 2022 and 2032, which is above the national average, and represents an estimated 37,600 positions open each year on average [1]. Computer systems analysts in the US earn a median annual salary of $102,240, according to BLS data from May 2022 [2]. 

[HIGHLIGHT] Work settings

Many computer systems analysts work for technology companies, but roles are also available in the following areas: 

  • Financial services

  • Government departments

  • General businesses

  • Health care

Jobs are usually office-based, but remote positions are also available. 

How to become a computer systems analyst

To become a computer systems analyst, you’ll need to demonstrate your technical abilities and business acumen. Most roles require a relevant technical bachelor’s degree, some experience, suitable technical skills, and industry knowledge. 


Typically, to qualify for this role, employers will require at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, math, or similar. Some employers prefer a master’s degree, such as an MBA that covers information systems or one in computer science. According to Zippia, 59 percent of computer system analysts have a bachelor's degree, and 12 percent have a master’s degree [4].

Do I need relevant knowledge? Along with a degree, it’s important for candidates to show relevant business and industry knowledge. Some degree courses cover both business and IT, but if not, make sure you find other ways to show how well-rounded your skills and knowledge are. Keeping up to date with technological advances and business subjects is important throughout your career in this role.



Certifications can be a useful addition to your resume to showcase your technical and business knowledge. It can be used to bridge any knowledge gaps or for keeping up with new areas of technology.

Some popular certifications for computer system analysts include:

  • ISACA: Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

  • AICPA: Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)

  • IEEE: Professional Software Engineering Master Certification

  • CompTIA: Linux+

Read more: 10 Essential IT Certifications 


Experience in IT technology and knowledge in business is essential for this role. While obtaining a degree, it’s important to practice relevant IT skills through coursework. Getting an internship or work shadowing can boost your resume and lead to full-time job opportunities.   

Career advancement pathways

As a computer systems analyst, you may have chances to advance your career. In this field, it’s common to become project managers who lead full teams of analysts. Further experience can lead to positions such as IT director and chief technology officer (CTO), according to the BLS.


Possible positions and average annual base salaries include:

  • Quality assurance analyst: $69,477

  • Computer systems architect: $110,549

  • Systems developer: $109,476

  • Information systems analyst: $93,031

  • Applications analyst: $88,470

  • Information systems manager: $128,965

*All salary information sourced from Glassdoor as of June 2024.

Read more: Master’s in IT Management: Degree Guide

Getting started with Coursera

Ready to learn more about IT? Learn about systems administration and IT infrastructure with a Google IT Support Professional Certificate on Coursera. This program is designed for beginners with no prior experience to develop the skills you need for a career in IT. The topics covered include technical support fundamentals, operating systems, IT security, and more. 

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Systems Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-1.” Accessed March 27, 2024.

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